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Monday, January 26, 2009

My Album Lists for 2008

Two posts in one day, but this one is not accompanied by a compilation-- just scroll down to the next entry for today's podcast.

My 30 Favorite Records of 2008:

01. Damian Jurado, Caught in the Trees
02. Crooked Fingers, Forfeit/Fortune
03. The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound
04. Jonathan Richman, Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild
05. Paul Westerberg, 49:00
06. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
07. The Dutchess & the Duke: She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke
08. The Tallest Man on Earth: Shallow Grave
09. Cobra Verde, Haven’t Slept All Year
10. Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane
11. Army-Navy, Army-Navy
12. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation
13. Capstan Shafts, Fixation Protocols
14. Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Gentleman Jesse & His Men
15. Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, Inside the Human Body
16. Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron, Lost Wisdom
17. The Lucksmiths, First Frost
18. The Wedding Present, El Rey
19. Matthew Sweet, Sunshine Lies.
20. Blitzen Trapper, Furr
21. What Made Milwaukee Famous, What Doesn’t Kill Us
22. Pelle Carlberg, The Lilac Time
23. Okkervil River, The Stand-Ins
24. She & Him, Volume One
25. Sun Kil Moon/Mark Kozelek, April/The Finally LP
26. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks
27. Silver Jews, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
28. Jay Reatard, The Matador Singles ‘08
29. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
30. Shearwater, Rook

Ten more that were hovering nearby (in alphabetical):

01. American Princes, Other People
02. Billy Bragg, Mr. Love & Justice
03. Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst
04. Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, Dirt Don’t Hurt
05. The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride/Satanic Messiah ep
06. R.E.M., Accelerate
07. Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard is Off to Business
08. The Rosebuds, Life Like
09. Sloan, Parallel Play
10. TV on the Radio, Dear Science

Eight stellar debut full-lengths that have me hopeful of the future that didn't quite make my top 40:

1. Down By Avalon, Down By Avalon
2. The Weakends, The Weakends
3. Ty Segall, Ty Segall
4. Liam Finn: I’ll Be Lightning
5. Dead Trees: King of Rosa
6. Crystal Stilts, Alight of Night
7. Titus Andronicus, The Airing of Grievances
8. Women, Women

Five that could have been much better:

1. Bob Mould, District Line
2. Stephen Malkmus, Real Emotional Trash
3. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
4. Magnetic Fields, Distortion
5. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

25 More Faves from 2008

Okay, the Boss has a new one out this week. This really isn't a video, but at least you can listen to the single (from the movie The Wrestler which I don't think has yet played here in Chattanooga) in its entirety.

Rounding out my year in songs, here's the third volume of my favorite songs of 2008 (also in alphabetical and sans commentary) with apologies to all the songs that didn't make the cut:

2008 - Volume 3

01. The Magnetic Fields, "The Nun's Litany" (2:58)
02. Mark Kozelek, "Finally" (2:13)
03. Michael Cera & Ellen Page, "Anyone Else But You" (1:57)
04. The Mountain Goats, "Sax Rohmer #1" (3:40)
05. Nada Surf, "From Now On" (2:36)
06. Of Montreal, "Gallery Piece" (3:48)
07. Pelle Carlberg, "Nicknames [Feat. Karolina Komstedt] (3:45)
08. Photon Band, "Where Did the Love Go? (3:41)
09. The Raconteurs, "Old Enough" (3:57)
10. Robert Pollard, "No One But I" (3:39)
11. She & Him, "Sweet Darlin'" (2:41)
12. Shearwater, "Century Eyes" (2:18)
13. Sliver Jews, "Aloyisius, Bluegrass Drummer" (1:54)
14. Sloan, "All I Am Is All You're Not" (3:03)
15. Sons & Daughters, "Iodine" (3:02)
16. The Spinto Band, "Summer Grof" (2:26)
17. Stephen Malkmus, "We Can't Help You" (3:04)
18. Titus Andronicus, "Titus Andronicus" (3:13)
19. TV on the Radio, "Golden Age" (4:14)
20. Ty Segall, "You're Not Me" (2:42)
21. The Weakends, "Devil By My Side" (2:39)
22. The Wedding Present, "Palisades" (3:52)
23. Wolf Parade, "The Grey Estates" (3:27)
24. Women, "Group Transport Hall"(3:27)
25. You Am I, "Beau Geste" (3:12)

Total Time: 1:14:55

Download it here: 2008 - Vol. 3

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Favorite Songs of 2008 (To be cont'd)

I'm sure you all heard that O'Reilly used footage from this season's 24 to help make his case for torture. That made me think of this:

Anyway, here are 25 More Great Tracks from 2008 (In Alphabetical by Artist and sans commentary):

2008 - Volume 2

01. The Baseball Project, "Jackie's Lament" (3:26)
02. Beck, "Modern Guilt" (3:15)
03. Billy Bragg, "M for Me" (2:42)
04. Black Francis, "Half Man" (2:33)
05. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, "I'll Be Glad" (2:44)
06. Boston Spaceships, "Go For the Exit" (2:23)
07. The Breeders, "It's the Love (2:28)
08. Crystal Stilts, "Shattered Shine" (2:52)
09. The Dead Trees, "My Friend, Joan, She Never Asks" (4:14)
10. Death Cab For Cutie, "No Sunlight" (2:40)
11. Deerhunter, "Never Stops" (3:05)
12. Dengue Fever, "Tiger Phone Card" (3:37)
13. DeVotchKa, "Head Honcho" (3:45)
14. Down by Avalon, "Losing Ground" (2:51)
15. Dr. Dog, "The Old Days" (3:42)
16. Eagles of Death Metal, "Wannabe in LA" (2:16)
17. Glasvegas, "Geraldine" (3:45)
18. Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, "Up on the Floor" (3:43)
19. Islands, "Creeper" (3:15)
20. Jay Reatard, "Always Wanting More" (2:10)
21. Jonathan Richman, "When We Refuse to Suffer" (2:19)
22. The Killers, "I Can't Stay" (3:06)
23. Liam Finn, "Better to Be" (3:49)
24. Los Campesinos! "Drop it Doe Eyes" (2:44)
25. The Lucksmiths, "California in Popular Song" (3:52)

Total Time: 1:17:04

Download it here 2008 - Vol. 2

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Favorite Songs of 2008 (To be cont'd)

I hope you all got to revel in your patriotism this week. I don't know if you caught Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger doing Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" at the Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert, or as I like to call it, Obamapalooza. I'm not ashamed to admit, I had a great big lump in my throat during that performance. I would have posted the actual footage-- you can still find it on Youtube, but I'm sure HBO will be taking all those down soon.

Anyway, I've started finalizing my year in music. It was tougher than usual, because I picked up so many new things over the last couple of months of the year (and really right into January). Lesson learned. I'm going to try to stay on top of it this year. There are a few albums that I don't think I gave a fair shake. C'est la vie. Here's my first list and the first of three compilations of great 2008 tunes:


01. “Lost Coastlines” by Okkervil River – Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff duet on this instant classic, from The Stand-Ins. (5:32)

02. “The ’59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem – Springsteen for a new generation, from The ’59 Sound. (3:10)

03. “Something in My Life is Missing” by Paul Westerberg – Introspective Westerberg at his finest from the download only 49:00. (3:45)

04. “Gillian Was A Horse” by Damian Jurado – [Spoiler Alert!] From my favorite album of the year, Caught in the Trees. (3:21)

05. “Supernatural Superserious” by REM – Best song from a fine effort from the Godfathers of College Rock, from Accelerator—dig those Mike Mills background vocals! (3:25)

06. “Into the Stream” by The Tallest Man on Earth – Nobody ever really deserves the “new Dylan” tag, but Sweden’s Kristian Matsson is as worthy as anyone, from Shallow Graves. (2:47)

07. “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend – I guess it’s no longer cool to like these guys, but I think they were a band worthy of the hype, from Vampire Weekend. (2:18)

08. “Phony Revolutions” by Crooked Fingers – DeVotchKa helps out on this amalgam of influences, from Forfeit/Fortune. (3:09)

09. “Furr” by Blitzen Trapper – This particular song reminds me of “Ooh La La” and that’s never a bad thing, from Furr. (4:08)

10. “Sultan” by What Made Milwaukee Famous – WMMF will never be accused of sparking a new sound, but there is something comforting about a band that you feel as though you’ve heard before, from What Doesn’t Kill Us. (2:46)

11. “Always a Friend” by Alejandro Escovedo – This song is perhaps the very definition of Rock & Roll, from Real Animal. (3:38)

12. “Dark as Days” by Army-Navy – Harkening back to the Posies’ best work, Army-Navy are one of the new torchbearers of power pop, from Army-Navy (3:42)

13. “Middles of June” by The Capstan Shafts – There seemed to be a bit of a lo-fi renaissance in 2008, and this has a very Tobin Sprout-era GBV feel to it, from Fixation Protocols. (1:51)

14. “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes – The first song I heard from this band, sadly the rest of the album did not measure up to this wonderful track, from Fleet Foxes. (2:27)

15. “Byrdgirl” by Matthew Sweet – Tambourine, jangly-guitars, and sweet harmonies, what more can you ask of Mr. Sweet? From Sunshine Lies. (3:18)

16. “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife” by Drive-by Truckers – The musical arrangement on this song is pretty amazing. Piano, bango, pedal steel, driving back beat and yet it still comes off as a very simple tune, from Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. (3:06)

17. “Rat Patrol and DJs” by Centro-matic – I’ve been slow to embrace Will Johnson, but I’m starting to come around, from Dual Hawks. (2:47)

18. “For Emma” by Bon Iver – Another band that I’m not quite as smitten with as others, but I can’t deny the beauty of this song, from For Emma, Forever Ago. (3:41)

19. “Sidewalks” by Gentleman Gesse & His Men – I love this mid-tempo rocker, which sounds like it could have been done by the Shangri-Las or the Flirtations, from Gentleman Jesse & His Men. (2:31)

20. “Willow Tree” by Chad VanGaalen – The lead track from VanGaalen’s wonderful third album, Soft Airplane. (3:14)

21. “Home in the Highrise” by Cobra Verde – Perfect pop from Cleveland’s Glam rockers, from Haven’t Slept All Year (3:13)

22. “You Swan, Go On” by Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron – Okay, I have an unabashed love for Julie Doiron’s voice, but the real surprise for me is Mount Eerie, who I had never heard before. From Lost Wisdom. (1:25)

23. “Take Off Your Sunglasses” by Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Equal parts Violent Femmes and Bob Dylan, from Inside the Human Body. (3:36)

24. “Strangers” by The Dutchess and the Duke – This wasn’t recorded in 1967? From She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke. (2:00)

25. “Watch as They Go” by American Princes – “Open Letter” from 2006 is one of my top five songs of the current decade, this one is pretty great too. From Other People. (3:32)

Total Time: 1:18:05

Download it here:

2008 Vol.1

So, what were your favorite songs of the year?